Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yannick Alléno's * 1947 * At Cheval Blanc, Courchevel France

by Paige Donner

  • WHEN: December 12, 2012  until April 7 2013
  • Where:  1947, Yannick Alléno's new Pop-Up Gastronomic artistic culinary odyssey of a restaurant at Cheval Blanc in magical winter playground Courchevel, France

Please find here excerpts from the Press Release with my running commentary in red italics. 

Five Michelin-starred French Chef Yannick Alléno begins his winter season at Cheval Blanc Courchevel's 1947 restaurant when it opens on December 12th. 

[OK, this is the Super-Uber-Chef-Extraordinaire Alléno, the same mastermind behind Terroir Parisien which I wrote about here. Note to self* Find someone to explain to me how a mere mortal (human being presumably) gets 5 (five!!) Michelin Stars. I mean, even one signifies you've walked through a dozen or more culinary rings of fire. Right?]

The wine: creating a closer alliance
Moving away from traditional food and wine pairings, 1947 offers guests an entirely new way of experiencing wine, by blending the DNA and raw materials of the wines with the ingredients of Alléno’s dishes to create extraordinary results. 

A loin of veal  is  marinated in the barrels from Château Yquem and cooked using chalk from the Ruinart quarries, whilst the vegetables are fermented in vine leaves from Krug’s Clos du Mesnil. The serving temperature of Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996 is regulated; perfectly suiting the artichoke and black truffle…it is with these intricacies that Alléno is laying the foundations of a new modern cuisine

[Wow. Quelle Magnifique. Ruinart Crayères and grape leaves from Clos du Mesnil - love this Cradle to Cradle conceptual approach and implementation. Not to mention Yquem's botrytis sweet-soaked barrels and Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1996. OMG. Amazing! ; ) ]

The product: distilling ingredients to their essence

“The culinary experience involves tasting exactly the right part of each product in 
successive sequences. At the end of the day, cuisine is only a question of concentration, 
and I have tried to extract the quintessence of the product through a selection process 
resulting from a long investigation,” explains Yannick Alléno.
The service: true mise en scene
Bucking the trend of pared-down service, at 1947 Alléno revives this pillar of French culinary history to offer guests a team of experts that echo the quality of the dining. The scene is set with assistants, sous-chefs and wine waiters that ensure that every aspect of the culinary journey is accompanied by knowledge and passion.

[Ahhh. Niiicce. Back to a bygone era... I'm feeling waves of nostalgia for an era I never even experienced.]
Every evening until 7 April 2013, up to twenty five guests will have the opportunity to  experience Alléno’s new culinary  concept – Cuisine Moderne. The master Chef will create French cuisine that fuses proud Gallic tradition with innovative creativity to define this new foundation. Main course is shared by all 20 guests.

[*Note to LFAW readers - please (please, please, please)  send in your impressions if you have the good fortune to enjoy Alléno's 1947 culinary odyssey this winter season in Courchevel.]

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Monday, December 3, 2012

As a Thank You we’re giving you a Holiday Bonus Perk

We’re optimistic that we’ll reach our film production fundraising goal for Wine & Climate Change, but we can’t do it without people like you.  Word-of-mouth and shared links have really helped and we truly appreciate your support.


Yes, that’s right. A Champagne Vacation for two.

To Qualify:
1. Click Like on our Wine & Climate Change Facebook Page. You’ll find it here:
2. Go to and click on Contribute, for a minimum of $20 or higher.  Add in the comments section that you wish to qualify for the chance to win the Champagne Vacation.

It’s that easy. You may contribute more than once to increase your chances.  We will choose One Winner the week of January 16th, 2013. Winner will be chosen randomly.

What YOU Get
A 3-day, 2-night vacation for two to Champagne, France. This includes two nights’ lodging in a luxury residence, a Tour and Tasting at Veuve-Clicquot Champagne Cellars in Reims, France, a visit and lunch to Hautvillers, where the monk, Dom Perignon, first invented champagne.
*Transportation/airfare is not included. Some meals not included. Must be of legal drinking age to participate in the Tasting at Veuve-Clicquot Cellars. Must be 18 yrs. or older to participate.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Champagne Ernest Remy

If you ever find yourself for a day, or, better yet, a weekend, in Champagne during the Autumn season, use this as a sample daytripping itinerary and you won't go wrong.

Make your main destination Champagne Ernest Remy which is a long-held family champagne house located in Mailly, in the heart of the gracefully sloping hills of the Montagne de Reims. During the Fall, the play of colors - auburns, oranges, eggplants, deep reds, rusts, yellows, golds - is breathtaking so be sure to stop along the way and take pictures of the fleeting richness of nature while you're witness to it.

The Montagne de Reims is one of the most classical viticutural areas in France, famous for its Pinot Noir. The house of Ernest Remy Champagne makes its champagnes using only Grand Cru Pinot Noir from Mailly, harvested from their 15 hectares. Interestingly, for this harvest year 2012, Mailly enjoyed an abundant harvest, according to Ernest Remy's Tarek Berrada, who explained that it was perhaps due to the village vineyards' north- northwest sun exposure. In any event, they did not experience the limited harvest that most of the rest of Champagne did this year.
As with many wineries, this is a husband-wife team who have taken up the family business. But here is where any "typical" winemaker background ends, as both husband and wife come from the world of Art and Art history. It just so happens that she was born into a land-owning Champenoise family.

Evidence of these artistic leanings can be discovered in the labeling, packaging and design of their champagnes. For example, when you buy a bottle of their Rosé de Saignée Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru there is a small pink metallic medallion embedded into the top of the cork, hidden just under the champagne cap. A keepsake and a souvenir - for a memorable champagne whose hints of violet reveals itself on the long finish, after it has flirted its delicate wild strawberry and raspberry aromas before you. This Mailly rosé has a mere 6g. of sugar for its dosage and is aged a minimum of 20 mos. It is a rosé that could accompany meals, such as roast chicken, duck, lightly spicy asian dishes as well as red fruit desserts. It's available in Magnums and bottles, and in cases of 3 Magnums and cases of 6 bottles. *Tip: "Saignée" in French means that this rose has acquired its color through maceration and not blending.

With the rest of the day ahead of you, you have any number of wonderful restaurants nearby, all located in storybook beautiful little Champagne villages, one as lovely as the next. Top choices for lunch (or dinner) are L'Assiette Champenoise in Tinqueux, a two-Michelin starred restaurant that has a set menu starting at about 150 per person. Champagne Ernest Remy is on their menu.

Other choices in the vicinity include Le Relais de Sillery, Le Grand Cerf (Michelin starred), Le Château de Rilly (also a hotel) and then there's the small local favorite that you can easily pass if you drive along the Route du Champagne just a bit too fast - so be sure to keep a scenic pace and watch out for Le Mont Joly in Rilly, big steaks served on wooden cutting boards and very reasonable prices.

Lastly, it wouldn't be a trip to this Montagne de Reims region if you didn't stop in at Le Phare de Verzenay, an old windmill that has since been turned into a museum. But I'll let you do your Tourist Office legwork for this one as it's one of those sites you'll see displayed and described in most guidebooks and certainly at all the tourist offices.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Okanagan Architect Designs Terravista Vineyards

Okanagan Architect Designs A Winery Facility that Reflects the Region

Terravista Vineyards, a new Naramata Bench winery, worked with renowned Okanagan architect Nick Bevanda to design an efficient, elegant winemaking facility tailored to its location.

[reprinted from Press Release]

Kelowna, BC, September 18, 2012 — The original founders of Black Hills Estate Winery have opened Terravista Vineyards, a new boutique winery nestled into the natural contours of the BC’s Naramata Bench.

Bob and Senka Tennant started Terravista Vineyards with a commitment to producing small volumes of high quality estate-grown white wine. One of their first steps was investing in a winery facility customized to this task and infused with local flavour. Designed by award-winning architect Nick Bevanda, a partner with BC-based CEI Architecture, the building is uniquely sculpted to its site, using materials that make it an ideal match for the climate and landscape of the region.

“The objective was to complement the landscape, not to overwhelm it.” Bevanda says. “We kept the building design clean and efficient, providing everything the winemakers need to make a great product.”

The winery building is constructed from concrete, with an angled roof that complements the contours of the surrounding hills. The structure is nestled into the corner of the five-acre vineyard, in a natural bowl in the landscape. It was designed to suit the production and storage needs of the winemakers, who plan to produce up to 1800 cases of wine a year.

“The reaction has been that people love it,” says Tennant. “It’s modern without being austere. It’s clean and it screams function, but you really like being in it and around it.”

The building’s deep roof overhang is cantilevered to provide a natural sunshade, supported by a minimal structure that does not interfere with the circulation of people and machinery during the wine production process. The building’s face is clad in glass to provide expansive views of the vineyard, and to draw natural light deep into the building.

“We are a little off the radar, and the building is not really viewable from anywhere unless you are on our property,” says Tennant. “It's fun watching people come to the place now that we are actually open. They come down our driveway and they’re wondering, where do we go? Then they look at the building and go, ‘Oh wow.’”

Born and raised in the Okanagan, Nick Bevanda is one of the most prolific architects of wineries in the region. His designs includes the Black Hills Estate Winery, the only winery in Western Canada honoured with the Lieutenant-Governor of BC Award of Merit for Architecture, in 2008. He also led the design of Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery, Road 13 Winery, the Hooded Merganser Restaurant, and the recently opened Black Hills Wine Experience Centre.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Mushroom Mixology and Funguy & Girl Package in Carmel, Calif.

Too Good to Pass Up!

 Bernardus Logo

Follow us on Twitter@Bernarduslodge







- Special Event: Five Star Edibles from the Wild Repast/November 17, 2012 -


CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF. - 2012 - From the oak-studded fields of Carmel Valley to the redwood forests of Big Sur and Monterey Bay, the seasonal forage for local porcinis, chanterelles and candy caps hits a high note this winter at Bernardus Lodge.   The two-month homage to Mr. Fungi includes Big Sur foraging treks, mushroom-infused cocktails, anti-oxidant "FunGal" spa treatments and a special a la carte menu at Marinus Restaurant focused on the coveted gems of the forest. A new two-night hotel package is also available.



From Bernardus' Chanterelle and Elderflower Martini to the succulent Squab "Cailette" with Porcini and Sauce Perigord, the seductive qualities of the mushroom have outpaced most   screen sirens.   Ancient Egyptians linked the mushroom to immortality and its exotic flavors were reserved solely for royalty. South Pacific cultures believed in the mushroom's aphrodisiac qualities, the early equivalent of Viagra. While cultivation credits go to the French and Southeast Asians, it is the Californians - those early-adopter foragers, cutting-edge chefs and passionate palates - that have placed these fleshy fungi on a pedestal.Shrooms

Like a caped avenger, this super food is rich in antioxidants, packed with vitamins D and B, and  struts to the table in a variety of textures and flavors. An avid forager, chef Stamenov harvests much of his own stash for Marinus' seasonal menu, in additional to the coveted 20 lbs. of imported truffles he trades on annually. The seasonal menu will include a lusty lineup of entrees,

including a rich White Truffle Risotto, Local Black Cod with Chanterelles and Carmel Bay Spot Prawns with Matsutake Angnolotti, bathed in a wild fennel sauce.

More than savory, mushrooms also have a sweet side. Pastry chef Ben Spungin rounds out the dessert menu with a sinful Black Truffle Ice Cream Sundae, Caramelized White Chocolate and Chanterelle Mousse and fragrant, maple-overtoned Candy Cap Pot de Crème with Pistachio Streusel.


Rain means wild mushrooms, and nowhere are they more prevalent than along the coastal forest and dense redwoods of Monterey County. On tap are two weekly guided fungi forages (Wednesday and Saturday), which include transport. Playing to the unparalleled beauty and bounty of Big Sur, the moderate three-hour coastal and inland trek led by a seasoned forager is certain to jump start the senses ($75.00/person; weather dependent). Most notable in the region are chanterelles, porcini and candy cap varieties.


As the suns sets, chef Stamenov and his team turn up the heat at award-winning Marinus Restaurant with a reception and five-course tasting menu focused on Mr. Fungi.   Paired with a selection of wines from Bernardus Winery, the menu will showcase both savory and sweet dishes including locally sourced Carmel Bay Spot Prawns with Matsutake Angnolotti and a sinful Black Truffle Ice Cream Sundae.   Although not of the hallucinogenic variety, the mushroom-inspired dishes crafted for this repast will be nothing short of mind-blowing ($150.00/person inclusive).


Take to the Warming Pool at the 5,300 sq. ft. Spa at Bernardus Lodge, followed by a series of treatments designed to release the body of free radicals and renew the epidermis. The new Mushroom Medley includes an exfoliating body scrub followed with a hot rock massage combining a custom Bernardus blend of oak, moss and mushroom-infused oil (50-minutes; $150.00/person). Slither into the sexy alfresco whirlpool with a heady 25-minute mushroom soak for the ultimate chill-out (add-on).

FUNGUY & GIRL PACKAGE (November/December 2012)

Slip away for a stay in the valley of the wine gods. The new Funguy & Girl two-night package includes guest accommodations, a three-hour foraging trek for two, mushroom spa package for two and $150.00 meal credit at Marinus Restaurant or Wickets Bistro. Rates start at $1050.00/double. Packages are available November 1 through December 30, 2012, subject to availability and exclusive of taxes, gratuity and resort fees. Blackout dates apply. Reservations:


Set on 26 pristine Carmel Valley acres awash with vineyards and lavender, Bernardus Lodge boasts 57 luxurious guestrooms, award-winning dining, the signature Spa at Bernardus Lodge, two swimming pools, an alfresco bocce court and 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Created by Bernardus Pon, owner of Bernardus Winery and Vineyard, the Lodge offers a bespoke escape steeped in European graciousness. A member of
Leading Hotels of the World
and partner with American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, Bernardus Lodge received the Conde Nast Traveler Johansens 2012 Awards for Excellent for "Most Excellent Lodge," 2012 AAA Four Diamond Hotel rating and 2012 Forbes Four-Star award for the Lodge, The Spa at Bernardus Lodge and Marinus Restaurant. The Lodge is perennially recognized by discerning readers of Conde Nast Traveler's "Top Hotels" and Travel and Leisure's "Worlds Best Hotels" as well as being a Wine Spectator Grand Award recipient
(2001-2012) and voted #1 in Andrew Harper's 2012 Reader Survey of "Top Food & Wine Resorts" worldwide.

Bernardus Lodge is located on the Monterey Peninsula,

120 mi./193 km. south of San Francisco and 330 mi./531 km. north of Los Angeles. The Lodge is a 20-minute drive from the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey and a 45-minute drive from scenic Big Sur. For information contact Bernardus Lodge at 1.888.648.9463 or visit

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Friday, August 31, 2012

California Wine Month - September


Join the California Wine Institute and Girl Meets Grape at The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills on Thursday, September 6th from 6-9 pm and taste your way around the state (70+ wineries! - see below) as we kick off California Wine Month 2012.

More Info:

Valet parking is included with ticket price and tickets are extremely limited. Do not miss this opportunity to celebrate California wine without leaving LA!

Heitz  -  Ovid  -  Baldacci  -  Trefethen  -  Viader  -  Kenefick Ranch  -  Kenwood Vineyards  -  Wrath - Bernardus  -  Pianetta  -  J.  Lohr  -  Noble Vines  -  Ventana Vineyards  -  McCay Cellars  -  Machhia - Borra Vineyards  -  Talley  -  Saucelito Canyon  -  Laetitia  -  Ancient Peaks  -  Tangent  -  Zocker - Santa Cruz Mountain  -  Cooper-Garrod  -  Bargetto  -  Beauregard Vineyards  -  Silver Mountain  -  Woodside - Villa Creek  -  Adelaida  -  Eberle  -  Hope Family  -  Justin  -  Tablas Creek  -  Villa Creek  -  Brewer-Clifton - Foxen  -  Margerum  -  Buttonwood Farm  -  Grassini Family  -  Riverbench Vineyard & Winery  -  Balletto - Davis Bynum  -  Alexander Valley Vineyards  -  Chateau St Jean  -  Landmark  -  Quivara  -  Etude - J Vineyards and Winery  -  The Lucas Winery  -  Heritage Oak Winery  -  Michael David Winery - St. Amant Winery  -  Joel Gott  -  Rosa d’Oro  -  Six Sigma  -  The Steven Kent Winery  -  Mitchell Katz - Wente  -  Cedar Mountain  -  Concannon Winery  -  Fenestra Winery  -  Baily  -  Palumbo Family - Monte de Oro  -  Robert Renzoni  -  South Coast  -  Wilson Creek  -  Bonterra  -  Beringer Vineyards - Robert Mondavi Winery



@♥Chérie Du Vin

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Poplar Grove Penticton Gets Lt. Gov. Award + Naramata TailGate

Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2009

We are excited to announce that we won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines for our Cabernet Franc 2009!
On July 26, 2012, the honourable Steven Point and 35 members of the Vancouver Consul Corps visited Poplar Grove
to present us with this esteemed award.

A big congratulations to Ian Sutherland, Stefan Arnason & Nadine Allander, our winemaking dream team!

The Cabernet Franc was set be released on September 1, 2012… but due to popular demand we have released it a little early. The wine is now available in the tasting room or order here online. 

Dropping Our Tailgates Once Again

The Naramata Bench Wineries are dropping their tailgates on Saturday, September 8th for the Okanagan wine party of the season. It's our let-your-hair down, pop-some-corks and have a lot of fun event.
This year will be a bigger and better event than ever before. That's right, in addition to 21 wineries pouring their wines, there will be great food; live music by Shane Philips; dancing; and a Salmon Showdown featuring some of the Okanagan's best chefs. 
And if that is not enough, there is also an after party, the Super Gate, which picks up where Tailgate leaves off, but only 100 tickets are available. Think of it as a VIP after-party with our winemakers, winery owners and guest chefs. There will be an oyster bar, exclusive and elusive wines to taste, and more food and music.

Main Event Tickets: 5:30 - 8:00 PM  ~ $89.
Super Gate Tickets: 5:30 - 10 PM  ~  $155. includes After Party.

For more info and tickets: / 1-800-663-1900

Would the biggest wine bottle in the cellar please step forward?

The Poplar Grove wine making team is going to test the age-old adage that bigger is always better! A limited number of magnums and 3 litre bottles are being made for wine lovers who are looking for celebration wines or special additions to their cellars.

The magnums of Poplar Grove Merlot and Poplar Grove Legacy will be available in time for this holiday season. 

Wine Club members will find these party size bottles in the online Wine Club cellar, right next to the other bottles of back vintage, sold out and limited release wines!
Tomatoes from our vineyard garden are on the menu

This year Vanilla Pod’s Chef Bruno Terroso and Poplar Grove’s Viticulturist, Valeria Tait teamed up to plant heirloom tomatoes in the garden just behind the winery.  Valeria was excited about this joint project saying, “we are using the garden as an indicator of what kind of farming year it will be for the estate vineyards.  If it is a great year for tomato vines then it will generally be a great year for grape vines”.

Valeria planted a total of 80 heirloom tomato cultivars and though we lost a few with two unexpected cold snaps, we still have 53 gorgeous plants to harvest from in the coming month. Chef Bruno is looking forward to working with fresh out of the garden tomatoes as these are one of his favorite foods to play with “just add a little extra virgin olive oil, basil and a sprinkling of sea salt and you have a dish that tastes like more”.

For reservations at the Vanilla Pod Restaurant at Poplar Grove call 250 494 8222 or email
Copyright © 2012 Poplar Grove Winery, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:

Poplar Grove Winery
425 Middle Bench Road N
Penticton, BC V2A8S5





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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mission Hill Family Estate's Summer Lineup

Sample Menu:

Locally-sourced ingredients and wine pairings from Mission Hill's portfolio. Highlights include:

  • Vine Smoked Arctic Char with berry gel;
  • Ocean Wise Shrimp and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta;
  • Naramata White Peach Gazpacho;
  • Deep Fried Hen's Egg with chickpea panisse and buttered green peas;
  • "AAA" Beef Strip Loin with crispy polenta and truffled cauliflower;
  • Glazed French Lemon Curd 'Bar' with basil marshmallow and pine nut crunch.


4-Course Garden to Vineyard Lunch: Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Guests are invited to join Executive Winery Chef Matthew Batey in Mission Hill's on-site varietal garden, to glean knowledge and pick their own fresh ingredients that will pair perfectly with the meal's wine selections. Enjoy a four-course tasting menu in the vineyard, created and presented by Chef Batey from the day's harvest.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 11am $85 per person 


Summer in Whites Loggia Dinner: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Fresh, vibrant, alluring, these words all describe the white wines of Mission Hill. This exclusive dinner is a splendid way to enjoy these exuberant wines of summer. Guests will be privy to a gorgeous pre-dinner vineyard reception, a Sommelier-hosted winery tour and a three-course wine-paired dinner, set in the winery's stunning Loggia gallery. Guests are encouraged to dress in white in celebration of the evening's wine theme.

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 6pm $99 per person 

Purchase tickets online:

Mission Hill Family Estate is world renowned and honored as one of the 'Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World' by Travel + Leisure magazine. The restaurant and epicurean program is led by Executive Winery Chef Matthew Batey and Chef of The Terrace Chris Stewart. Majestic mountains, scenic lakes and lush orchards encase the winery's dramatic architecture. With sustainable practices that ensure care for the environment, and a timelessness that respects the von Mandl family's European heritage, guests experience the height of winemaking in an incomparable lakeside mountaintop winery.


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Wine Evenings at Restaurant 114 Faubourg St. Honore


By Paige Donner

Read More Here

At the epicenter of chic, where rue Fbg. St. Honoré meets Avenue Matignon in the shade of Paris's Élysée gardens, is where you will find the restaurant 114 Faubourg. 
As part of Le Bristol Hotel, but with a separate entrance and in an adjoining building, the lunch and dinner restaurant headed up by chef Eric Desbordes along with his chief Sommelier, Marco Pelletier, is altogether a destination unto itself.

Tomes can and likely will be written about the talented young chef's French cuisine, but focus here is on the restaurant's once-monthly Wine Tasting Evenings, held the first Monday of the month, to be precise.

In a city that gathers the best wines of one of the best wine-producing countries in the world, there is an unexpected and surprising dearth of good wine-tasting evenings organized for the amateur/enthusiast and/or the visiting tourist. A once-monthly excellent wine and tailored food-pairing evening open to 25 guests is hardly going to make a dent in what should be a huge demand for this type of food and wine evening event, but, at least it's a start...

Marco Pelletier, an adoptive Parisian whose authentic Canadianisms pepper his oenological descriptions and explanations, shines as the evening's champion organizer. He not only invites the winemakers to Paris so they can talk about their "treasures," but also curates his wines with that delicate care that only a professional with great passion and reverence for his metier can muster.

Evenings start at around 7:30 with a tasting flight of four wines during which the winemaker shares tales about the vintages he's pouring. The 114 Faubourg team takes care of hosting duties, which allows these extraordinary cultivators of French wines to simply elaborate the stories of their wines in the company of the people who have come to sip and savor their particular expressions of terroir.

According to Pelletier, there is no commercial element to the evening. The winemakers are not honored guests invited to “sell” their wines. "They just come to share the story behind the wines and vintages being poured for the evening. The winemakers are often small producers that I've usually already chosen to feature and work with or who have already worked with Le Bristol for a long time," explains Pelletier. "These are the 'Haute Couture' of winegrowers."

Read more:

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

GMO Labeling Initiative Heading to California Ballot!

Hi LA friends, I wanted to let you know about this event taking place in LA next week to celebrate the good news that Californians will get to decide in November whether we have the right to know if the food we eat is made with genetically engineered ingredients. This rally and press event will take place at the Board of Elections office in Norwalk, where hundreds of thousands of signatures will be dropped off on May 2. Please help spread the word and all are welcomed to come celebrate! 

Stacy Malkan
Environmental Working Group

We have a right to know what's in our food. More than 90% of Americans agree: genetically engineered food should be labeled. We are going to get this done in California. Join us on the road to victory in November!

GMO Right to Know Victory Rally May 2 in Los Angeles: On Wednesday, May 2 we will be turning in more than enough signatures to bring the California Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods on the November ballot! This massive achievement is thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers across the state, including farmers, concerned, parents, activists, celebrities, sustainable businesses and many others. 

Now we need your help to show the world the energy and commitment behind this historic initiative. Join us May 2 to celebrate our success and show the world our intention to win in November. We will deliver petitions in baby carriages to represent how important this issue is to future generations.

Please arrive at 10:00 a.m. May 2 with signs, posters, carriages, bring the kids and your friends!

Los Angeles area event: Meet at Board of Elections office at 12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk. Speakers: singer, songwriter and GMO Right to Know leader Zuri Allen Star, petition leader and mom Stacey Hall, special guests TBA. 

Help spread the word:



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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Food Truck Fever Hits Paris

by Paige Donner

Paris, the ultimate city of foodies, is, as we write this, gripped with Food Truck Fever.



Yes, believe it! In exemplary fashion of how it takes several months to a few years for trends to cross the Atlantic (and it goes both ways!)... Since December, when Paris got its first Food Truck, aptly named Le Camion Qui Fume (transl. "The Smoking Truck,") to now, mid-April when Paris can boast its second Food Truck as of April 1st - Cantine California - to feed the fevered frenzy for French Fries, we can now confidently say that food trucks have firmly taken hold of the Parisian Foodie Scene.


Because, indeed, it is french fries these food trucks purvey. Cantine California offers both sweet potato french fries and regular french fries. All are organic. On their menu are also Burgers made from steak-grade quality cuts of beef bought direct from a small country farm where no hormones or other additives are used to process the meat. Same goes with the pulled pork he slow roasts in Mexican (mild) spices to achieve a very excellent Paris rendition of carne asada tacos. The taco shells are handmade in the truck and are the traditional soft tacos that anyone from California has come to expect.


And the cupcakes - red velvet with a butter cream white frosting, or a deep dark chocolate with a rich chocolate frosting - all made with organic flour that he - owner-entrepreneur Jordan Fielders (French/American/ Canadian) also buys direct from the mill. And the chocolate is Fair Trade too. The chef, also named Jordan (Powers) and her boyfriend man the cooking and prepping while Jordan Fielders, always a foodie but formerly working in the energy and mining sector, takes care of the "front of house."


Figure on about 10€ for a plate of carne asada tacos, served with lime wedges and real black beans, along with authentic hot sauce. Truly one of the few places, very few places, in Paris where you can find an authentic California -even S. of the border - taco. Hamburgers are stupefyingly delicious. I'll stop by regularly just for more sweet potato fries. And the cupcakes are a terrifying 2.50€ - terrifying because at that price I'll be able to pick up a half a dozen of those fresh baked butter cream monsters at a time.


Kudos to both Kristin of Le Camion Qui Fume  - read more about her hamburgers in this month's Glamour magazine, French version - and Jordan of Cantine California for braving not just a city of foodies (yes, ok, read food snobs) but also a business bureaucracy that doesn't make things all that easy for young entrepreneurs. Although, I have to come clean, I did see a food truck parked in St. Germain - on St. Germain Blvd near rue du Bac - last year during Designer Days. They were giving away/selling little cups of butternut squash soup and macarons, if memory serves. Will have to dig up that picture I snapped...if only to prove to myself I'm not imagining it!

Also, when you reflect on the whole itinerant food vendor thing and the long history the city has with its fresh markets, all of which also have food vendor stalls established within them (like crepes to go or roasted chicken with potatoes) it doesn't, in fact, seem like such a stretch for these new kids on the block to rock up to the same curb and set up their tent, er, truck.  After all, one thing Parisians do know and that's food. And every lunch hour, M-F, millions of them swarm the city streets looking for something good to eat.

FYI, Le Camion qui Fume accepts cash only; Cantine California accepts credit cards and cash. Check their sites/ Twitter feeds for today's location.

Twitter @ LocalFoodWine   [photos/video by Paige Donner]

Posted via email from Local Food And Wine

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Monsanto Must Pay Damages To French Farmer for Pesticide Poisoning

Exerpted from From Le Figaro (English)

Monsanto must pay for French farmer’s pesticide injuries

A French tribunal found Monsanto, the leading producer of agro chemicals, responsible for serious neurological effects suffered by a French farmer after his exposure to poisonous pesticides. Monsanto must pay for all damages suffered by the farmer.

This win may set a precedent for other cases. The MSA (mutuelle sociale agricole), the French mutual insurance system for agricultural workers, reported that they receive about 200 files a year from agriculturalists who confirm being poisoned by pesticides.

READ MORE:  » Poisoned French Farmer Wins Against Monsanto


♥Chérie Du Vin

Posted via email from Local Food And Wine

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cognac For ♥ Valentine’s Day

by Paige Donner

Cognac for the most important ♥ holiday of the year!? Yes! And not just for your fella. But for your Lady (love) as well. 

Scenes from Cognac

all photos by and c.Paige Donner 2012 

Click Here for Slideshow Hennessy, Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Paul Giraud (in that order)

Women love things that are smooth, warm, that glide just the right way and yet still have that appropriate touch of femininity. You might think that I'm describing lovely lingerie. But, No! I'm talking about cognac. That's right!  Cognac can be YOUR dreamy passport to love and pleasure this Valentine's Day!

On a recent trip to Cognac, I was tasked with spitting out X.O. and Paradis...From all the best makers... Some that you've no doubt heard of and some that you'll only hear about and get to taste if you venture into the quaint and cordial hinterland of France that is Cognac.

Click Here for Slideshow Hennessy, Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Paul Giraud

I'm not a spirits drinker and anything tougher than champagne usually makes me gag. So I was a hard sell in terms of being persuaded to see the merits of enjoying a sip of cognac or two. For me the idea of the cognac cocktail - a dose of cognac mixed with champagne and some Chambord or cognac with green tea and a few shakes of a couple other things - were the ways I was ready to take my medicine.


Click Here for Slideshow Hennessy, Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Paul Giraud (in that order)

Cognac For ♥ Valentine’s Day

One of the qualities that got me to hang in there, though, is that cognac is the only spirit, or eau de vie, that is distilled from grapes. Gazing out at the wintry landscape of hibernating vines somehow reassured me that this spirit was different. I was tasting a form of wine, after all. Also, unsurprisingly, cognac was originally a happy accident. A couple of barrels of wine gone bad on their shipment to England a few centuries ago...a dose of French innovation and farmer ingenuity and Voila', cognac!

Click Here for Slideshow Hennessy, Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Paul Giraud 

After tasting (and spitting!) my way through approximately 75 blends and brands of cognac, I discovered that there were a handful that I could sip and savor. And it wasn't only the XO's that pleased my palate. There were a couple of VSOP's that made the cut. Though, I admit, once you've tasted Paradis, you'll swear you've heard the angels sing!

Cognac - It's not named X.O. for nothin'!

Chérie Du Vin

*For customized Cognac Travel Itineraries contact:  Local Food And Wine

Click Here for Slideshow Hennessy, Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Paul Giraud 


♥Chérie Du Vin

Posted via email from Local Food And Wine